Cover Image
Market Research Report

UK SME Insurance: Distribution Dynamics 2017

Published by GlobalData Product code 382863
Published Content info 47 Pages
Immediate Delivery Available
Price
Back to Top
UK SME Insurance: Distribution Dynamics 2017
Published: November 7, 2017 Content info: 47 Pages
Description

With insurers increasingly seeking to grow their share of the SME market competition, further advances in technology have allowed for products to become more specialized, allowing for niche markets to be targeted more accurately. Brokers have remained the most used channel when purchasing insurance, yet their share of the SME market has decreased significantly in 2017 according to the results of our 2017 UK SME Insurance Survey.

SMEs have begun to purchase their insurance products via a number of different channels, and it is clear - particularly in the micro enterprise space - that an omni-channel approach is best for insurers to capture business. Purchasing both directly from the insurer and via price comparison websites have increased. Insurance companies also continue to provide an increasing variety of products that cater more specifically for the smallest of SMEs. Given that businesses of this size represent the majority of SMEs by number, the growth of non-brokered purchasing channels is unsurprising.

Key findings include in this report -

  • Purchasing insurance online via a PC remains the most common method across SMEs, with 33.1% using this method in 2017.
  • Renewal rates in commercial insurance are significantly higher in comparison to personal lines, with the overwhelming majority of SMEs remaining with their current provider in 2017.
  • Younger businesses are embracing technology when purchasing their insurance, with the use of tablets and smartphones highest among business that have operated for less than two years.

Ensuring policies are easily understood is essential to improving customer satisfaction. In order to increase their share of the market providers should aim to provide a clear and concise explanation as to what is included within cover, as SMEs cited this as one of the key services insurers should provide.

The report "UK SME Insurance: Distribution Dynamics 2017", looks at how SMEs buy insurance coverage and the reasons behind their purchasing decisions. This report also examines the services SMEs are currently receiving and the additional amenities they would like from their provider going forward. Other influential factors are also taken into consideration, such as the age of the business owner and the age of the business.

Scope

  • Purchasing insurance online via a PC remains the most common method across SMEs, with 33.1% using this method in 2017.
  • Commercial insurance renewal rates are significantly higher in comparison to personal lines, with the overwhelming majority of SMEs remaining with their current provider in 2017.
  • Younger businesses are embracing technology when purchasing their insurance, with the use of tablets and smartphones highest among business that have operated for less than two years.

Reasons to buy

  • Identify the most prominent sales channel for SMEs.
  • Adapt/re-evaluate your distribution strategy and proposition to meet the needs of modern consumers.
  • Discover the factors influencing SME purchasing decisions and distribution channel selection.
Table of Contents
Product Code: FS0078IA

Table of Contents

  • 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 2
  • 1.1. Market summary 2
  • 1.2. Key findings 2
  • 1.3. Critical success factors 2
  • 2. THE SME PURCHASING JOURNEY 7
  • 2.1. Introduction 7
  • 2.1.1. The value of SMEs to the UK economy 7
  • 2.2. The dominance of brokers is under threat 8
  • 2.3. Medium-sized businesses favor brokers 9
  • 2.3.1. Micro-sized businesses continue to shift towards purchasing direct 10
  • 2.3.2. Small businesses are increasingly purchasing directly from insurers in 2017 13
  • 2.3.3. Banks have lost market share among medium-sized businesses 16
  • 2.4. SMEs rely heavily on technology when purchasing products 18
  • 2.4.1. SMEs purchasing insurance policies favor PCs 18
  • 2.4.2. Young companies are embracing the use of technology 20
  • 2.4.3. Face-to-face purchasing increases in popularity in line with the age of the business 21
  • 2.4.4. Older owners avoid modern technology as a purchasing method 22
  • 2.5. Few SMEs struggle to understand their insurance policies 23
  • 2.6. SME pre-purchase activity 25
  • 2.6.1. Contacting existing provider 25
  • 2.6.2. The potential for customer retention is high 26
  • 3. SME RETENTION 28
  • 3.1. The majority of SMEs remain with the same provider 28
  • 3.2. Sole traders are sensitive to price changes when renewing 29
  • 3.3. Micro enterprises (excluding sole traders) have a high retention rate 30
  • 3.4. Small enterprises are keen to save on price when renewing 31
  • 3.5. Medium enterprises have a high degree of loyalty to providers 32
  • 3.6. Premium prices are the biggest influence when deciding to switch 34
  • 3.6.1. Premium prices are key to customer retention 36
  • 3.7. Services provided by insurers 37
  • 3.7.1. A simple policy explanation is a key service required by SMEs 37
  • 3.8. The most common added-value service used by SMEs is legal advice 40
  • 3.8.1. Openness to receiving services is dependent on SME size 42
  • 4. APPENDIX 45
  • 4.1. Definitions 45
  • 4.1.1. SME 45
  • 4.2. Methodology 45
  • 4.2.1. GlobalData's 2017 UK SME Insurance Survey 45
  • 4.3. Further reading 46

List of Tables

  • Table 1: Methods used when purchasing travel insurance, 2017 20
  • Table 2: Activities undertaken prior to purchasing insurance, 2017 27
  • Table 3: Actions undertaken by SMEs at the time of renewal, 2017 33
  • Table 4: Reasons for switching insurance provider, 2017 36
  • Table 5: The most important additional services insurers can provide, 2017 40
  • Table 6: Percentage of SMEs receiving additional services, 2017 42

List of Figures

  • Figure 1: The use of brokers in 2017 is significantly lower than previous years 8
  • Figure 2: SMEs of all sizes favor the broker channel 10
  • Figure 3: Direct purchasing among micro enterprises has risen at the expense of brokers 11
  • Figure 4: The broker channel is most commonly used across policies for sole traders 12
  • Figure 5: The use of banks features more prominently for micro businesses excluding sole traders 13
  • Figure 6: Brokers and banks have lost out in the small enterprise space 14
  • Figure 7: Small enterprises' private medical and cyber insurance purchasing is dominated by brokers 15
  • Figure 8: Brokers dominate insurance purchasing among medium-sized enterprises 16
  • Figure 9: Brokers dominate across all policies for medium enterprises 17
  • Figure 10: Using a PC is the most common method for purchasing insurance 19
  • Figure 11: New businesses embrace technology when purchasing 21
  • Figure 12: The proportion purchasing face to face increases in line with business age 22
  • Figure 13: Younger business owners are more likely to use technology in the purchasing process 23
  • Figure 14: The majority of SMEs understand their insurance policies 24
  • Figure 15: Contacting existing providers remains the most common action 26
  • Figure 16: Sole traders are most likely to switch to a new provider 29
  • Figure 17: Price plays an instrumental role when sole traders renew insurance 30
  • Figure 18: Retention of micro enterprises (excluding sole traders) averages 81% 31
  • Figure 19: Small enterprises are highly conscious of insurance prices 32
  • Figure 20: The overwhelming majority of medium sized enterprises remain with their current insurer 33
  • Figure 21: The new provider's premium prices are the most common reason for switching 35
  • Figure 22: A simple explanation of the policy is the most important service for the smallest SMEs 38
  • Figure 23: Small and medium enterprises also rank simple policy explanation as the most important service 39
  • Figure 24: Legal advice is the most popular added-value service among all SMEs 41
  • Figure 25: Sole traders do not value additional services 43
  • Figure 26: Small and medium enterprises are most open to receiving new services 44
Back to Top